Let’s face it, we are all influenced by money. As a result salary is often an important determining factor in whether or not we will take a job. Or, at least it was in the past, now there are many different factors which are growing in importance. Factors such as culture and growth opportunity will absolutely lend a hand in how employees perceive employers. Even with the roles these other factors play there is the recurring theme of value when employees or potential employees view employers.

Monetary value, a tangible valuation placed on employees, consisting of salary and the financial gains from benefits packages.

Perceived value, an intangible valuation placed on employers, garnered from what an employer is “giving” to its employees. This view, of how employers view employee health and wellness reflects in how employees believe the company cares for them.

*No matter how enticing a salary may seem, the perceived value can have equal importance.

Compensation is more than just “salary” and needs to be a melding of tangible and intangible value:

Benefits and salary need to be viewed as a package deal! One thing that we can’t afford to overlook in the “money” conversation is anything an employer pays on top of a base salary. As a result of the benefits being offered, there is monetary value as well as employer perception that are being affected.

This allows for compensation negotiation. Employers can offer a lower base salary and a higher level of benefit compensation while remaining competitive in the eyes of potential employees. Employers can also compensate for a lower value benefits package with a higher salary.

How do employees perceive companies as a result of doing these things? Are companies showing how they value their employees through the compensation they offer? Employee perception will most likely go hand in hand with how they feel they are being cared for and even though a high salary may be nice, employees want to know that they are being taken care of and valued as employees.

Adjusting benefits to enhance employee perception is more difficult than it sounds and increasing funds to pay for additional or more benefits is notably not the easiest thing to do. However, it is a smart move for companies to review their benefits plans for inefficiencies; programs that are not being utilized by their employees or programs that do not matter as much to their employees. These are the areas where funding can be allocated to programs that are important to their existing and prospective employees. Not only can this attract new talent, it can assist in the retention of existing employees (which saves money too).

It is a candidate’s market right now and if they do not feel that they are getting their worth or what matters to them the most, they will go elsewhere. Talent, or the right talent may be hard to come by. In order to attain and keep this talent around employers will need to show that they value their employees. A major way to improve perception is by giving employees more of what they want or need to feel valued.

“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly cost for compensating a private sector employee is $30.80, once all employer expenses are added in. Wages and salaries accounted for about 70 percent of the total, while benefits comprised 30%.”

Evaluate your benefits plan